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Help!! Can't get humidity up in Little Giant Still Air Incubator

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have a Little Giant Still Air Incubator.  This is my 2nd hatch, and it appears to be a disaster.


I am hatching French Black Copper Maran and RIR eggs.  Prior to my first hatch, I was warned about keeping the humidity correct, especially with Maran eggs.  Therefore, I bought a hygrometer, and it seemed to work.  I ended up with 9 RIR and 6 French Black Copper Maran chicks.  (They are doing very well :-).


This time around, I have done everything the same as I did last time.  Same type of eggs and everything.  On day 18, I made sure all the channels were full of water, and even added a wet sponge, wrapped in a wet washcloth. 


At first, it seemed fine, but then my hygrometer started showing that the humidity was dropping.  It dropped to 30 and would not rise.  On day 21, I even tried inserting a straw through the openings in the top, and used a dropper to add warm water, just to top off the channels and make sure the sponge/washcloth was wet.  Still no change in the hygrometer.


On day 22, I had 1 chick pip, but then died w/out ever getting any further.  It is now day 23, and none of the other 23 eggs are doing ANYTHING.  According to the hygrometer, the humidity has dropped to 25, but the channels are still full. 


I hate to say it, but I think I've killed them all.  I'm wondering if the hygrometer is giving off incorrect readings, and it resulted in me drowning the chicks with too much humidity.  My thoughts are to give it 1 more day, and then borrow a hygrometer from my inlaws to compare readings with mine. 


If it's not the hygrometer, do you have any other ideas?


What am I missing?


Thanks in advance!!!

post #2 of 13

The room humidity can effect your incubators humidity. I use two to three thermometers and hygrometers in each of my incubators. Good luck

post #3 of 13

Test the hygrometer by taking it in the shower with you to see if it goes up. You can also calibrate it. Search for it on here and consider calibrating that thing. In my opinion, the LG styrofoam incubators are death traps.

I live with my partner and our daughter in the foothills of NC. We LOVE our critters!
I live with my partner and our daughter in the foothills of NC. We LOVE our critters!
post #4 of 13

Its hard to find correct ones. I use two and I also try to go by the windows. If they start fogging up I know its 70%+


Its almost hard to believe that your only at 25% with full channels and a wet sponge. I'm thinking that the hygometer is off.


LG's are a bit to play with. I have two and if i do the exact same thing with both of them. I struggle to keep the humidity up in one when the other is just fine.


How is your temp? do you have any red plugs in.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 



That's a good point about the windows.  They are NOT fogging up.  I do remember during my first hatch, that I saw some condensation on the windows, but I'm not seeing that this time around.


I think you're right (and am hoping) that it's the hygometer is broken.  I picked up one from my sister-in-law today, and plan on comparing the two over the next few days.


My temp is fine.  Steady at 99.5, which is what the instructions call for. 


I do not have the red plugs in.  I followed the instructions on that as well.  If my memory serves me correctly, I took the 1st one out on day 1, and the last one out on day 18.  (I do remember that I did it according to the instructions that came w/ the incubator)


The other REALLY weird part (and another reason I think it's the hygometer) is because I'm in GA, and we ALWAYS have humidity :-)


Thanks for the thoughts/suggestions.


post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Fried green eggs,


Thanks for the suggestion.


I do have 2 thermometers in my incubator, but only 1 hygometer.


I borrowed a 2nd hygometer today, and am going to compare to mine over the next few days to try to verify that mine has gone bad.


If I'm correct, then I'm ordering 2 new ones before I try to hatch any more eggs.


If I'm not correct, then I may just have to give up hatching eggs, because I don't know what else to do to get the humidity up.

Edited by qtrhorses2 - 4/24/12 at 1:56pm
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 



good suggestion.  I think I'll try that tonight, before I start trying to parallel my hygometer with the one I borrowed.


I'm not sure about the calibrating.  It worked fine the first time around, so I think it's just toast.


Yeah, I've heard mixed views about the LG incubators.  We got one because that's what my inlaws used, and they have had good luck with theirs.


We had good luck on our last (and only) hatch.  Hopefully we'll solve the problem, and I won't kill any more eggs.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, I took the eggs out last night, and the chickens were dead.  I did notice that out of 2 dozen eggs, only 7 chickens were fully formed.


I put the new hygrometer in and it appears to be reading the same as the one I already had.


I tried adding water and re-wetting my sponge and washcloth, and then letting everything set overnight, just to see if the humidity would go up.  (Trying to figure out before I incubate more eggs)  Unfortunately, as of this morning, it's 32%.  The temp did drop to 98 overnight.


Does the amount of eggs in the incubator affect the ease of regulating humidity?


The first time I did this, I had 3 dozen eggs in the bator, and no probelms with humidity.  The 2nd time 2 dozen eggs, and nothing BUT PROBLEMS with the humidity.  Last night of course, there were no eggs in there, but the humidity seemed to stay the same as when it had the 2 dozen eggs in it.



post #9 of 13

strange that the humidity is so low after all of that.  The humidity prob drops about 5% if I take just one plug out. I kind of play with the plugs a bit. I try not to have them both in the entire time for lockdown but I do play with it a bit. I try to make sure that they have enough air. but also try to close the plugs as much as possible at the same time.


Also where are you taking the temp inside the still air Little Giant. 99.5 should be the temp at the height of the middle of the egg.  On top the eggs it should be 101


If you haven't read chookschicks cheat sheet it may be helpful. 


maybe you could try paper towels rolled up and put in the channels or paper towels under the screen. I have never tried this method.  Or try a small container of water with the sponge in it but sticking out. If you aren't getting condensation then you know its below 70-75%. Maybe try having a humidifier on in the room with the bator.


This may seem silly but make sure the top is closed all the way. Once I thought my top was on all the way and it wasn't. It would almost seem like the humidity is going somewhere. Like one of the windows isn't in all the way. the lid isn't closed all the way...


Then again. I have two LGs... one of them I have little problems with humidity. the other its a struggle to keep it high enough..and thats with having them both on at the same time and doing the same thing with both of them.




post #10 of 13

I read though this thread because I was having this same problem last night. I put in warm wet paper towels and plugged up the small hole were the cord to my egg turner goes and the humidity is starting to come up....whew. 5 chicks hatched this morning and lots of pip marks to be seen :)

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